It’s Saturday in the Bay Area and the air is fresh, the sun is out, and we’re inside having just enjoyed a take-out Subway sandwhich for lunch. Earlier today, after looking through my big sister’s box of photos, we retired to the living room for conversation.
It’s been a while since I’d visited her home and I’d forgotten about the living room’s step-down to a lower level. Unfortunately, like so many young people today, I was distracted by my cell phone and wasn’t paying attention.
I remembered it right away, however, as I went face first onto the living room floor. The phone, so important at the time, went flying and I did a ballet dance move mid-air on the way down to the hard floor (no injuries this time except for my ego)… SO, two days into California and two crash-n-burn falls. Tomorrow, I’m not walking anywhere fast!
Back to the photo album and why we were looking through the pics. I’d asked my sister about her days in China and if she’d had any pictures. I was glad I did because she had a box full. We spent several hours looking through them together and I was able to learn more of her experience overseas that I’d not known about before.
You see, after graduating from ORU, Brenda moved back to Michigan to study at Western Michigan University. She wanted to get her Master’s in TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language). The desire came from having traveled to China for summer missions while at ORU. She gained a love and appreciation for the people there and had decided to help them by teaching them English, but, needed a degree to do so.
After several years of working full-time and going to school, she graduated with her TESL degree and was off to teach overseas where she spent over five years teaching in several countries including South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China where she spent the most time. She was able to use the Bible as a tool, even in China, to help teach them.
I still remember the day she returned home. I had driven to the Los Angeles International airport to pick her up. She was coming through customs with all her boxes and looked like she was in culture shock. Having lived in China so long where she had become accustomed to the more family-focused society, going through even the airport with all the self-promoting advertisements, was a big adjustment. She moved back to Michigan for a time where she worked full-time.
About a year later, while I was living in Northern California and having my own set of issues to work through, she called and said she’d met a person online (which made me concerned) who lived in the Bay Area only a few hours away from where I was living.
He was American-Chinese and was in the tech industry. She asked if I could pick her up at the airport so she could meet him. They’d been communicating for months, but hadn’t met in person. So, I did, but made him think I was just around the corner and not to get any ideas (I really wasn’t). The meeting went great and within a year, they were married. Once again, our paths were joined in life.
Brenda and Bill have been married since and have had three great kids together over the course of twenty years. They live in the San Jose area and, for a time while I lived in the Bay Area, we’d see each other several times a week. After moving to Texas, it was challenging for us to maintain that closeness, but still have that special bond to this day.
Tonight, we’re going to be seeing my other sister and her husband. We rented a movie and plan to just relax. Tomorrow will be my last day here and I’m continuing to pray for God to do a miracle. Thank you all for your kind words and thoughts for her as well. It means more than you know…